Roughly categorizing Life "mixes"?

In the case of observations like crytobiotic soil crusts, sea foam, pond scum, kombucha type mixtures etc, I always regret having to mark an obs “can’t improve” at the Life level, since it can’t properly be specified further, but the marking will send it into the giant Casual pile, lost to the ages.

Is there a handy observation field or project that could be added onto these records so that they could later be brought up as more of a set, such as by someone wanting to study? Thanks for advice!

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If there isn’t, you could make one! :slightly_smiling_face:

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OK, I’m thinking an Observation Field would be the way to go since it’s “low overhead” and can be filled in through the Identify modal.

A brief check of possible terms at https://www.inaturalist.org/observation_fields didn’t pull up anything existing/appropriate yet. If a new one is to be created, a text entry (as opposed to numerical or taxon etc) would be the most likely datatype. Here’s what that looks like

image

Any suggestions for Name, or for constraining values?

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I think I have a candidate: “Microbiome”

So then, better as a yes/no tickmark (presumably yes would be used); as a freeform text space (may need to provide descriptive guidance if so); or as defined choices?

If the latter, choices might include types:
-soil crust or desert varnish
-marine snow or sea snot
-(some freshwater analog- meiofauna?)
-scoby or symbiotic culture

Or, maybe a general location choice might work better? It does not require much expertise to say:
-in/on soil
-on rock
-in/on saltwater
-in/on freshwater
-in/on other water type
-in culture
-in/on lifeform(s)
-other or unsure; or “yes”

Thoughts?

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https://www.inaturalist.org/observation_fields/12347

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